If you’d rather not sleep among the sights and sounds of the big city, consider booking a room outside the city center. Located 20 minutes from major sites like the Pantheon and Piazza Venezia, the A.Roma Lifestyle Hotel is 276 rooms of sleek luxury. After a day of navigating cobblestone streets, you’ll want to retire to the onsite spa. Swim a few laps in the mineral enriched indoor pool, or enjoy the steam rooms, Finnish saunas, hydrotherapy treatments, Roman saline fountain, a mud bath, or a massage.
Stay closer to the heart of the city in the four-star Donna Camilla Savelli Hotel, located in the chic Trastevere neighborhood, known for its authentic Roman hospitality. The hotel is housed in a former monastery, with beautiful design touches like wood-beamed ceilings, tranquil interior gardens and fountains, grand staircases, sculptures, and marble walkways. Take in panoramic views of the Eternal City from the rooftop terrace, where you can enjoy breakfast each morning.
Skip public transportation and acquaint yourself with the city on foot during a two-hour walking tour. Starting at the Spanish Steps, the tour covers some of the most famous monuments, including St. Ignatius Church and its incredible frescoed ceiling; the Pantheon, one of the best preserved Roman temples in existence; and the Trevi Fountain.
Head straight to Armando al Pantheon for lunch. It’s one of the rare restaurants located only 100 feet from the Pantheon that has been preparing classic Roman cuisine for more than five decades. Start with black truffle bruschetta, followed by one of Rome’s most famous dishes—spaghetti alla carbonara (spaghetti with egg, thick cut bacon, pecorino cheese, and black pepper). For a lighter option, opt for pollo con I peperoni alla romana (chicken with pepperoni). After walking on cobblestones all day, your joints and muscles will need a warm yin yoga class at RYOGA, located in Trastevere. Stay in the neighborhood for a Sicilian-inspired dinner of fresh seafood at Osteria der Belli, where the sautéed mussels and grilled sea bass are standouts.
Beginning in the heart of the Roman Empire, try a run on Via Appia Antica (the ancient Appian Way), one of the earliest roads of the Roman Republic. The surface is the original stone/cobblestone slab which can be challenging for even the most advanced runners, but there is a dirt path alongside the original road for most of the way. From the end of the Roman Forum, you’ll pass mausoleum ruins, the fortified gates of the Aurelian Wall, and catacombs on a route for up to about ten miles. Afterwards, hop in a 10-minute cab ride from the Forum and enjoy a carb-rich lunch at Supplizio, a casual street-food restaurant whose name is an ode to suppli, deep-fried Roman rice balls. Try them with a variety of fillings, like arrabiata (tomato, garlic, and dried red chili peppers), cacio e pepe, or carbonara (egg, pecorino, bacon, and mozzarella). They also offer salad and fish options.
After pounding the cobbles this morning it’s again time for some TLC at the Terme dei Papi thermal baths just outside of Rome. About an hour and fifteen minutes away by car in Viterbo (or you can catch the shuttle on Saturdays at 2:30 p.m. from Roma Tiburtina railway station), the sulfate-sulfur rich baths and natural mud baths have been used by popes and emperors over the centuries to alleviate a variety of ailments including chronic bronchitis, psoriasis, and arthritis. Ease tired muscles in the warm waters of the thermal pools, or have a more well-rounded wellness experience with the addition of a full body treatment with lava mud. Dinner is in the Testaccio neighborhood at Pizzeria da Remo, whose Roman-style pizza is served crispy, personal-sized, and best enjoyed with minimal toppings, like the Margherita with buffalo mozzarella. It’s a no-frills, no-website sort of place beloved by locals and tourists, so try to get there early or be prepared for a wait.